Falling victim to Internet addiction
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 17:02
When it comes time for homework, I have a ritual in getting my work done. I pull out my textbooks, my notebook, my ink pen and my computer and start.
Sounds lovely, except this is never quite how it happens. When I pull out my computer, I get on the Internet, and when I get on the Internet I allow myself a few minutes to check on my activity on the interwebs.
I like this photo on Facebook; I retweet that tweet on Twitter; I reblog a gif set while scrolling through a random tag on Tumblr. Next thing I know, the few minutes I said I’d spend has turned into a couple hours and I still haven’t done any homework.
I would start, but I need to check on my blog to see if it has any more page views while Instagramming a photo of me doing this.
Hi. My name is Sharanda Crews and I am addicted to the Internet. I am not alone in my addiction. According to ansonalex.com one in every eight Americans experience signs of Internet addiction.
Take Facebook for example, I have 1,239 friends, 2,357 photos, 333 checked-in places and 542 liked pages.
Approximately one out of every 13 people on Earth use Facebook and more than half are logged on everyday according to the digitalbuzzblog.
On Twitter, I have 7,529 tweets with 254 followers. There are over 175 million tweets sent on Twitter everyday with the average user having 307 tweets and 51 followers according to the Huffington Post.
On Instagram, I have 1,623 photos with 129 followers. More than 575 likes and 81 comments happen on Instagram every second with more than 5 million photos uploaded everyday reports the HuffPost.
My point is everyone, and everything, is on the Internet. My Grandma has a facebook; you can google an answer to anything instantly.
Maybe we shouldn’t be so tied to the internet.
I don’t even have to buy real books anymore; I can find them on the Internet along with almost anything else I want to buy.
As soon as they make online grocery stores, I won’t have to leave the house anymore.
I’ll just work from home and live my life via Internet.
Even as a college student, I don’t let class get in the way of my addiction. I can get my fix anytime as long as my phone battery lasts.
Some classes encourage Internet usage and most require it for Blackboard.
But is this really a good thing?
With Internet usage encouraged from friends, to school, to sharing, whatever is going on in my life, it’s harder to pull myself away from the screen.
I’m on 11 different social networking sites and those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Who needs friends in real life when I could meet them on the Internet?
Who needs to go to class when I can YouTube it and find a video that will tell me all about it?
Who needs a best friend when I have Siri to remind me of how awesome I am?
Internet addiction is a real thing and it has real side effects just like any other addiction out there.
For example, in a study done on college students, 58 percent reported a decline in study habits, a drop in grade averages and excessive missed classes resulting in academic probation.
The Mid-Western State University study showed Internet addiction could lead to social isolation, increased depression, academic failure, debt and unemployment.
With all of those nasty side effects, what can be done to help?
I can’t divorce myself from my computer because I need it for class and using a Thesaurus and typewriter are not realistic options.
Don’t be a victim. Figure out exactly how long you spend on the Internet and work on cutting that time down. Use an alarm clock instead of your phone so you’re not tempted to be on it till late. It is time for students to take charge of their lives by combatting their addictions.
And, with any addiction, take it one day at a time…
Sharanda Crews is a sophomore polical science and buisness managagment major of Jonesboro.